Designing for the future II
The number of fashion brands operating sustainably is on the rise, as understanding of the ethical, environmental and waste issues facing the industry deepens. The 157 alumni of the Redress Design Award are at the forefront of this pioneering movement. Representing 24 countries and over 32 emerging brands - with 36 alumni coming from Redress’ home turf in Hong Kong - the learning and inspiration acquired by these designers is being applied in imaginative, innovative ways across the globe, changing the face of fashion forever.
SEER THE LABEL
Redress Design Award 2014/15 finalist Cher Chan launched her San Francisco-based clothing brand, Seer the Label, in early 2018. Sport-inspired womenswear and unisex collections are all up-cycled, made from deadstock materials from Hong Kong, Japan and USA.
MIKAN BY CLEMENTINE SANDNER
Clémentine Sander moved to Japan soon after participating in the Redress Design Award 2013. Her sustainable brand Mikan by Clementine specialises in the reconstruction of antique silk kimonos, combining them with high performance fabrics to create beautiful, functional accessories with real history. Earlier this year, a solo show at Forum Kyoto showcased her latest collection. Alongside developing her brand, Clémentine teaches Design at ESMOD Kyoto.
“Redress played a big role in my brand creation,” she remembers. “It offered me my first ever Asian experience and as a new graduate about to professionally step in the fashion world, the organisation has influenced me in staying strong to the idea of integrating sustainability as much as I can through my work, always.”
After winning in the 2015/16 cycle (a mentorship with Orsola de Castro), Cora Bellotto launched her namesake sustainable womenswear fashion label in 2017. The brand won the Redress Design Award 2017 Alumni Prize to be sold at Hong Kong independent lifestyle store kapok, along with a mentorship from owner, Arnault Castel giving Cora valuable and practical experience in creating and promoting a brand for a vibrant Asian market.
Traditional East Asian costume influences the work of 2017 semi-finalist Adriana Cagigas, whose artisanal brand Threeones produces garments in limited number to reduce material waste, emphasising ideas of handicraft and longevity. “Our main goal is to create sustainable products in order to make our society a better place to live,” she says.
Central Saint Martins graduate Wen Pan launched her eponymous womenswear brand in 2017 after participating in the Redress Design Award 2015/16. Layers and texture feature heavily in collections inspired by the ‘beauty of brokenness’, along with natural, organic fibres. The label is strictly leather and fur-free.
2014/15 semi-finalist Katie Jones continues to be a committed, active presence in the UK sustainable fashion scene. Through teaching and holding workshops at a variety of events as well as her new own ‘Great Make Escape’ retreats, Katie is a passionate advocate for the beauty and sustainable potential of craft. Collaboration is key for this prolific creator; this year, she has co-created collections with Auria Swimwear and Australian label, Romance Was Born. Her involvement with the global ethical fashion movement, Fashion Revolution sees her as a regular fixture at its increasingly high profile events. Some of her work is currently on display at the V&A’s seminal exhibition Fashioned From Nature, which explores the relationship of the natural world to clothing and textiles.
Presented at Budapest Fashion Week SS18, the new collection from Zerobarracento, brand of 2015/16 semi-finalist Camilla Carrara, features jumpsuits, shorts, minis and crop tops in a mix of Newlife™ jacquards (re-engineered polyester produced from post consumer plastic bottles) and cotton piquė. As per the brand’s DNA, the collection was produced as sustainably as possible. Key pieces are now available on VIC, an emerging platform for sustainable, made-in-Italy clothing rental. The brand continues to attract press and media attention for its pioneering methods and business model.
Algorithme, launched in 2015 by 2017 semi-finalist Marta Dolska, uses environmentally and socially responsible methods of production, including the reconstruction of second-hand garments. A new t-shirt collection, in collaboration with sustainable brand Neutral, features Danish illustrations embellished by skilled immigrant handcrafters.